AFC Notes: Brinkley, Cassel, Bailey, Byrd

The Bills are getting an early start on perusing this year’s crop of free agent linebackers. After meeting with Jameel McClain, who was released last week by the Ravens, Buffalo is hosting another free agent LB today, as Jasper Brinkley comes to town, according to Chris Brown of Brinkley was cut last Friday by the Cardinals.

Here’s more from around the AFC:

  • Matt Cassel, who opted out of his contract with the Vikings, has an old Patriots connection with new Houston head coach Bill O’Brien, and the interest between Cassel and the Texans is mutual and real, according to Ian Rapoport of (Twitter links).
  • Rapoport also hears that before D’Qwell Jackson signed with the Colts, the free agent linebacker turned down more money elsewhere (Twitter link).
  • Veteran defensive back Champ Bailey, who is being released by the Broncos, tells Mike Klis of the Denver Post (Twitter link) that GM John Elway didn’t present a pay cut as an option. “There was no discussions about it,” Bailey said. “It was like, ‘We’re ready to move on.'”
  • The Broncos will look to add a pass rusher this offseason to play opposite Von Miller, and free agency may be a better bet for the club than the draft, according to Klis, who identifies Jared Allen as one possible target.
  • In a Q&A with John Kryk of the Toronto Sun, Bills GM Doug Whaley suggested that not franchising Jairus Byrd earlier this week set up a “more amicable” negotiation with the free agent safety. Said Whaley, in noting that the team franchised Byrd a year ago: “This year we said, ‘For the betterment of the Buffalo Bills, and to show you more or less good faith, we’re not going to use that option to restrict you from hitting the market. Let’s try to go full bore, with both of us focused on trying to get a deal done.'”
  • Ben Volin of the Boston Globe explains why he thinks it make sense for the Patriots to pass on re-signing prospective free agent Aqib Talib and instead try to trade for Buccaneers cornerback Darrelle Revis.
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